On our day to day in our company, ECG (@EffectivelyCG), we encounter ourselves with clients facing the challenge of having a mismatch between their branding and their services. Recently, the veteran high end Canadian coffee shop, Second Cup, has been struggling to “compete” (and I quote because there’s always more behind a struggle) with Starbucks.
Like Second Cup, there are millions of businesses facing this and similar other challenges every day regarding to branding and their marketing. And there are always (I mean, always) several unseen issues behind the “struggle” that could be affecting the brand tremendously and costing thousands, and in the worst cases, millions.
At ECG, we work with companies of every size, for the large ones, losing a few millions is not the end of their business, but for a small and medium size company every cent lost could mean the closing of their doors.
I will share with you just 3 (from a list to be considered) back end “struggles” any company faces trying to keep their brand afloat, and it has to do a lot with a mismatch in their visual projection to the market:
- Top of the line branding, poor product or service
Your company has a wonderful first impression image. Your website, social media, logo and everything related to image makes the sale to the customer. Yay! When patrons go to get the service, they get a lousy customer service, or a cheap product sold like the Serendipity 3 $25,000 Guinness record chocolate gold dessert.
Even worst, when the customers go to your spot is poorly maintained and not as seen on the wonderful pictures they saw in their first impression.
- Poor image, Top of the line service
You give a great service, but the first impression doesn’t say it to potential customers. In today’s competitive world you cannot seat at your store or business to wait for people to come just because you think you are the best in town doing what you do.
You need to create an image around your greatness, create great content. Visual content marketing is a must. In a great post written early this year by Hubspot, 70% of marketers plan to increase their use of original visual assets in 2015.
- Relying on experience not giving importance to new market trends
We remember having a psychiatric hospital as a client, one of the oldest in our area. Their hospital census (the amount of beds occupied) was extremely low. They were using traditional marketing that wasn’t working for them as much as they expected.
They were not paying close attention to where their potential patients were spending more time. It was online. And it makes total sense. People tend to retract, hide, and get closed in when they are depressed or distressed. They stay home. Today, they take their situations to social media and spend a great amount of time there.
In a previous post I share with you,“Why content marketing integration is important for you digital media efforts”, because content marketing is what we used for them. We combined videos, a well-designed landing page, Facebook ads, email marketing and posts. We were consistent. In only three months we helped them increase their census by 70% and proved our theory. They were really impressed and pleased.
Second Cup could be struggling with traditional too. They have to take a look to what their customers really want, what are the trends, what generation in their areas (which are different and require different approaches) is really spending, where they are, how they like their products to be prepared, is it high end coffee really working for all areas? Just to mention a few questions to address. A thorough analysis is worth the effort.
If your brand is having these issues don’t wait to see the numbers fall, act promptly. The market changes constantly; it is becoming more demanding by the minute. Don’t look at your competition (and I always tell this to customers) as a competitor, use it as a tool.
There is a piece of pie for everybody, just get to know your piece. Maybe they are seeing something you’ve missed. As busy as we get to make money with our business; branding, marketing and content marketing require the same amount of attention, effort, and wise money spent. Start by asking yourself: Who are you in the game?
Would you like to share other issues? Share them in the comments below.